MOLINE – It was a banner day for area girls track and field athletes who participated in the Class 3A Moline Sectional Championship meet Friday.
On a great weather day, 13 qualifying performances were made in individual events and two relays qualified for next weekend’s State Finals at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.
The top two placers in each event qualified and, in addition, any performance that met the state-qualifying standard also advanced.
Plainfield North led local teams by finishing in third with 59 points. Dunlap won the title by a 111-97 margin over Oswego. Minooka took fifth place with 42 points and was followed by Plainfield South (ninth), Plainfield East (11th), Joliet West (13th) and Joliet Central (14th).
“We are very happy,” North coach Tammy Gummerson said. “It’s been a long time since we have had this many qualify for the state meet. These girls have worked hard and have stayed together as a team. We had some personal bests and seasonal bests and this is the time to have them.”
The Tiger qualifiers were Jeneau McLain in the long jump, with a second-place jump of 16 feet, 83/4 inches. Juliana Stogsdill was second in the 3,200 (10:54.43), Sydney Cangilla took second in the high jump (5-3), Savanna Santore placed second in the 300 hurdles (:46.79) and had a third-place finish in the 100 hurdles (:15.11) and Peyton Panka qualified in the shot put with a third-place throw of 39-7.
The Tigers’ 4x200 relay of Aja Bradshaw, Kayla Campbell, Santore and McClain took third and qualified with a time of 1:44.83.
“This is amazing and I’ve been working really hard this season to get to state,” McClain said. “This is the first year I’ve ever jumped and it worked out pretty well so far. Our 4x200 relay ran great to also qualify, which is great.”
“At the beginning of the season I couldn’t imagine qualifying for state in three events,” Santore said. “But I’ve worked hard and my coaches have believed in me and given me confidence. All I want to do next week at state is run my personal bests and everything will take care of itself.”
“My confidence hasn’t been real good all season long,” Stogsdill said. “But today I run five seconds faster than ever in the 3,200 and you can believe that I’m happy. I saw how well our team was doing early in the meet and that motivated me for even more.”
Minooka had two qualifiers in the pole vault as Katelyn Gall was third (10-9) and Ava Bezaire was fourth (10-3). Vivian Van Eck placed third in the 3,200 meters (10:57.96) and the 4x400 relay of Cierra Bachmann, Emily Johnson, Kathryn Cichon and Van Eck placed third in 4:04.16.
“It feels good to qualify in an individual event, especially in my senior year,” Van Eck said. “I was on the 4 X 800 relay last year and I never thought it was possible to make it individually. We have had such a great group of distance runners in the past and I’m just happy to continue our tradition.”
“After just missing qualifying in the 4x100 and 4x200, coach [Gummerson] just told us to use that motivation in the 4x4 and we ran a season-best by over four seconds,” Bachmann said. “You better believe we are happy.”
Plainfield South’s Miranda Cadwell won the shot put in 44-8 and placed third in the discus with a throw of 123-0 to return to state in both events. Trinity Allen won the 300 hurdles (:46.39) and also goes back to Charleston. And Plainfield East qualified Rose Ogbuli in the 100 (12.49) as she placed third.
“Savanna [Santore] and I push each other every time we race and it’s great that Plainfield South and North went 1-2,” Allen said. “This is just a step in the process and I learned a lot from being at state last year.”